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Aurora, CO shooting (Update: ABC News in damage control mode)

Aurora, CO shooting (Update: ABC News in damage control mode)

A gunman identified as James Holmes killed 12 people at the opening of the new Batman movie.

Details still are unclear as to who he is, but ABC News already has blamed the Tea Party because there is someone with a similar name who is a member of a local Tea Party group in that area.   Plenty of people on Twitter and elsewhere are doing the same thing.

As usual, the hunt is on to tie a gunman to the Tea Party, as if there were cause and effect, and despite numerous such attempts in the past which failed.

Finding a Tea Party connection, once again, seems more important than focusing on the victims.

We’ll see how it plays out, but the meme already was set in the first moments by ABC News.

Updates: The Other McCain and HotAir have updates on the shooting and the victims.

Via the HotAir link, Politico reports that ABC already has walked back the claim that the gunman was connected to the Tea Party, although it buried the correction:

An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect. Several other local residents with similar names were also contacted via social media by members of the public who mistook them for the suspect.

After extensive criticism, ABC updated its correction:

An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect. ABC News and Brian Ross apologize for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted.

Update No. 2: ABC News is in damage control mode, circulating this e-mail even to small time bloggers like me, re “ABC News Clarification and Comment on Earlier Reporting” containing the updates quoted above:


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Juba Doobai! | July 20, 2012 at 9:47 am

Sounds like a terrorist attack to me. Remember the attack in Russia? Wasn’t there something in the terrorist playbook about making Americans scared to go to the usual places?

Of course, the Communists will blame the TP and Obama will attempt to use this to deprive us of our Second Amendment rights. Of course, Rush Limbaugh will be blamed. When is he ever not? Of course, the Communists will seek to make political hay of the slaughter of innocents. When have they ever not.
Of course, we will resist.

May God’s eternal light shine on the slaughtered, and may He grant them and their families peace and comfort.

Yes, Rush is already being blamed.

As expected.

However, I don’t feel it is prudent anyone to comment on this politically-

Especially at this early juncture.

John Hawkins, , had posted a link to the FB page of a James Holmes, which I thought was horrible because no one knows if that’s the person or not. Hawkins has since removed the link.

The democrat media makes me sick. This is a horrific tragedy, not some political game. It is the shooter who is responsible, not politics.
To quote Ben Howe on twitter this morning:

“There is zero point in speculating on the political leanings of the scumbag. Did we learn nothing from Az? This “man” is evil. Period.”

    It is quite an insight into the mindset of the Left, that after a tragedy occurring like this, without any evidence of any political motive at this juncture, that they look to blame someone on the right, or even people that just stand for Aemrica. What the insight speaks to is they, if they feel are pushed to far, would certainly act in such with a fascist mindset.

We, on the other hand, will wait, not jump to conclusions, and condemn whoever did it without equivocation. Nor will we used it ghoulishly to advance any political agenda.

But we are not the delusional, the morally confused, and the hate-twisted Collective.

Back when I was a kid and some tragedy happened people would wait to hear what the president would say. He was like our national father. Now, no one wants to hear what Obama has to say because at best it will be bland and unmoving, at worst some horrible divisive speech. How far we have come.

The screaming for gun control laws will soon follow.
Just watch.

The mainstream media have no shame. Their politicization of everything is disgusting.

James Holmes didn’t do that. The government made that movie and theatre possible and built the road to it.

    alan markus in reply to parteagirl. | July 20, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Actually, Hollywood made that movie. Considering that “Hollywood” is joined at the hip with the “Democratic Party” which is the “Government”, I guess you are indeed correct!

    Personally, if events like this can be inspired by political dynamics (ie. “Tea Party”, “Right Wing Rhetoric”, etc.), I say let’s go all in and blame this one on Hollywood which by default logic is the Democrats.

      TrooperJohnSmith in reply to alan markus. | July 20, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      The movie review site Rotten Tomatoes ran some negative reviews of this latest Batman movie, and the comments go so bad, so threatening, they shut down comments. Apparently, the violence in this film takes ‘over the top’ to a new level. Yes, Hollywood decided to out-Hollywood the blood and gore in this one.

      I’m not saying there is a correlation between the on-screen violence and what occurred. What I am suggesting is there is passion, emotion and a sense of this being some great event, that lends itself to a person making some sort of ‘big splash’ out of this. It’s the crazy man’s bully pulpit.

      One thing I did notice was the same look, the wan smile, on Holmes’ face is eerily similar to what we saw on Anders Breivik’s after the Norwegian shooting spree.

    jimzinsocal in reply to JP. | July 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I ust noticed that as well. Politicians falling all over themselves attempting to reshape a sickening event into some “bigger issue”

    Bloomberg: What will Obama, Mitt do? — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has emerged as one of the nation’s highest-profile supporters of gun control, demanded on Friday that the presidential candidates “stand up and tell us what they’re going to do about” mass shootings

    ^^This guy other than being a Nanny and Mayor of what has become a cesspool believes The Great American Pharoah should do “something”
    But I suppose its all part of the same mindset…its within government’s duty and ability to solve..well…basically everything.
    Like he has in NYC

Calling any and all conservative lawyers to step up to the plate and sue ABC News and Brian Ross, personally, for defamation on behalf of James Holmes and the Colorado Tea Party.

    redsweater in reply to Roz. | July 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Follow @iowahawkblog to learn the truth about the man tying the killer to the Tea Party: Brian Ross.

    He’s a robber, an abuser, an assaulter, a bail skipper, and a pedophile.

    At least, that’s what it looks like now. We haven’t verified yet.

    Neo in reply to Roz. | July 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Editor’s Note: An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect. ABC News and Brian Ross apologize for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted.

    … in Colorado to get a PhD

    Neo in reply to Roz. | July 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    #CUDenver confirms #theatershooter, James Holmes, getting PHD in neuroscience– started in fall of 2011; withdrew last month.

They need to shut up. James Holmes appears to be a disturbed 24 year old man. I am not at all sure what motivated him and I doubt these pundits going off on this know either. Why don’t we let the facts play out and express our condolences to those hurt by this?

Oh and Mayor Bloomberg? You can shut up too.

Midwest Rhino | July 20, 2012 at 10:31 am

This guy was only 24, but he certainly planned this. Many of the mass shootings are in gun free zones. Perhaps the real cry should be to stop disarming the public.

The old guy in Florida stopped two guys with guns just days ago.
Columbine … gun free zone
Ft. Hood, Virgina Tech … gun free zones
Salt Lake City Mall, Omaha Mall … gun free zones

This Holmes guy had body armor, but apparently wasn’t interested in a fire fight with the cops, he preferred to shoot the disarmed.

Occupiers or unions have produced the violent ones. The tea partiers are on a win streak, with an important election coming up. Why in the world would a tea partier be motivated to do this?

Of course the guy is just a nut, no matter what, but someone engaged enough to be in a tea party is not a likely candidate. The divisiveness of the left is a much more likely cause. Their current attempts to smear the tea party with this is true to form.

Shooting innocent kids fits no MO, unless he yelled “this is for Trayvon”, or if he pretended to be a Tea partier as a sort of false flag op. But almost certainly it was an off his meds type nut, more like the Giffords shooter.

Cassandra Lite | July 20, 2012 at 10:32 am

Fascinating that a man shouting “Allahu akbar” as he mows down 35 people on an army base isn’t motivated by Islam…but a guy who has the same name as hundreds of others—and says nothing as he fires—is obviously a Tea Party zealot.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | July 20, 2012 at 10:43 am

How many Tea Partyers are 24 years old? Plus, if you go to one of the hyperlinks above and dig around, you’ll see that James Holmes the Tea Partyer was welcomed to the group in January, 2011. Which means he would have been 22 or 23 back then.

I’ll bet a cheeseburger that James Holmes the Tea Partyer is not the same person as James Holmes the 24 year old alleged shooter.

But I’ll engage in the same smear tactics and say that I will not be surprised if the shooter is an “Occupier”, even though I have absolutely nothing to base the assertion on.

Scary observation:

The Tea Party is a big movement. Statistically, there must be some Tea Partiers out there who are nuts.

Heaven help us if one of them ever runs amok.

    CalMark in reply to CalMark. | July 20, 2012 at 10:55 am

    …concerning the foregoing, I speak as a Tea Partier myself.

    Second scary thought:

    The U.N. gun control treaty is due out in a week. Obama says he’ll sign it. I hate conspiracy theories, but the timing is just so perfect that I have to wonder…

    And before people pile onto me, this administration has been complicit in the murder of hundreds of people already, in the name of gun control: remember Fast & Furious?

      Juba Doobai! in reply to CalMark. | July 20, 2012 at 11:19 am

      Obama can sign anything he wants. If Congress doesn’t ratify the treaty it means nothing.

      Neo in reply to CalMark. | July 20, 2012 at 11:46 am

      … and it get’s better …

      James Holmes, DOB 12/13/1987: The Batman movie portrays the OWS crowd in a negative vein,the new Batman movie featured the villain as an Occupy Wall Street type. I would first look at the possibility that James Holmes, DOB 12/13/1987, was caught up in the OWS movement took it upon himself to strike back against “THE MAN.

    Neo in reply to CalMark. | July 20, 2012 at 11:17 am

    If this is true, this story will be gone tomorrow …

    The James Holmes for whom Breitbart News has obtained documentation is 25 years old (the suspect has been reported as 24 years old). He has links to addresses in both Colorado and San Diego, where his mother has been reported to be from, according to news reports. He was issued a traffic citation in 2011–his sole run-in with the law. The same is true for the suspect arrested in connection with the shootings, according to reports. Update: Fox News reports that the suspect has a California-issued social security number, as does the man in the documents obtained by Breitbart News–a significant correlation, assuming the sources are independent.

    Furthermore, the James Holmes for whom records were obtained by Breitbart News registered as a Democrat on June 14, 2011. He registered from an address in La Plata County, Colorado, and his status is listed as “inactive.”

Midwest Rhino | July 20, 2012 at 10:53 am

Obama is on .. we are all a family
and this was a “hate crime”.
now he is leading everyone in a silent prayer
“God bless the United States of America”

I’m sure he hopes this changes the narrative.

Just some folks looking for diversion in a cool theatre on a hot day. And now they are dead or wounded by a lunatic. Thats who they were. Thats who he is. It says more about the jackal press by their reaction about how contemptable they are. They can go to hell. As for the victims ; may they find peace.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are ending their 5 year marriage

I’ve seen one news source link this to the Columbine shooting in 1999. The source pointed out how close they are together.

It struck me odd mentioning in detail a shooting from nearly a quarter of a century ago that has nothing to do with the current situation.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | July 20, 2012 at 11:04 am

Has Paul Krugman and Matt Yglesias checked the Sarah Palin political strategy map yet to see if that district was represented on the 2010 map as vulnerable to defeat by use of a symbol resembling a rifle scope crosshairs? That could be critically important information to get going viral, ya know.

A report out of England makes a VERY TENTATIVE connection to Black Bloc anarchist membership.


I R A Darth Aggie | July 20, 2012 at 11:36 am

I’m pretty sure that Batman leans towards conservatism. Why would an alleged TEA Party member shoot up that room?

I’ll bet 100 quatloos the shooter is a progressive and voted for Teh Won in 08.

Raquel Pinkbullet | July 20, 2012 at 11:45 am

There is a reliable source; that there was a road and a bridge in front of the very house which James Homles lives in, so he had help from the government.

theduchessofkitty | July 20, 2012 at 11:47 am

Independent of everything else, why is it that some IDIOTS take their elementary school-age kids (as in ages 6 to 11) to watch a movie at MIDNIGHT? Really!

    Especially one called “The Dark Knight.” Rated PG-13.

    There’s appropriate evening fare for pre-teen grade schoolers, on a school night, yet!

    theduchessofkitty in reply to theduchessofkitty. | July 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    It gets worse.

    There was a 3-month-old (read: infant) at that theater, who was wounded.

    A 6-year-old who was shot at that theater died. Poor kid.

    This is yet another strong argument for home theaters, Netflix, cable OnDemand, or whatever home movie rental you use…

      NC Mountain Girl in reply to theduchessofkitty. | July 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      Call me hopelessly old fashioned but what kind of parent takes a 6 year old to a midnight screening or baby to a movie at any time of the day?

        theduchessofkitty in reply to NC Mountain Girl. | July 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm

        You and I both.

        My husband and two daughters know, Know, KNOW that I can’t wait to see “The Hobbit” on theaters this December. Heck, I even went to a midnight screening of LOTR-ROTK back in 2003. But my husband was with me (we had no children yet), that was it, and never did it again.

        I would not take my girls to see “The Hobbit” at the theater at midnight. Nights are for sleeping, and sleepings for bed. Kids and movies are not for sleepy time. Sure, I’ve been reading to them snippets here and there from “The Hobbit”, but I’d rather have them watch it when the Blue Ray comes out. I will watch it in IMAX alone – if I can.

        But not at a public theater at midnight, even less with my 5-year-old and 3-year-old in tow. I’d be an idiot of a parent if I do.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | July 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Breitbart News may have a legitimate scoop, as opposed to ABC’s speculation, that the shooter may be a registered Democrat. Which, if true, ABC will never report.

Raquel Pinkbullet | July 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm

It’s not funny that conservatives have to defend themselves immediately following every tragedy because the MSM immediately tries to blame conservatives with no evidence to support such a conclusion.

Here’s an interesting bit from The Daily Mail (MailOnLine):

“As speculation mounts about the motive behind the mass shooting, one private investigator has said that Holmes may have been part of Occupy Wall Street’s most violent faction, Occupy Black Bloc.”

    CalMark in reply to Samuel Keck. | July 20, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    …and in the comment section:
    Some leftie from KY blaming the “Tea Nutzi Party”;
    Two Brits foaming at the mouth about America needing gun control.

      iconotastic in reply to CalMark. | July 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Looks like the comments have been disabled for now. Probably too many vile posts to moderate.

theduchessofkitty | July 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I agree with Professor Reynolds here. There should be a libel suit against ABC News from the Tea Party.

Raquel Pinkbullet | July 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm

The LEFT has no class, morals, or even the slightest of human decency. I’m sure Sarah Palin has a few words about how the LEFT/MSM uses tragedies to demonize conservatives.

Civility only works when dealing with civil people.
As the Left has shown on multiple occasions, they are not civil people.

Raquel Pinkbullet | July 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm

I forgot to mention that Clinton himself tried to lay the OKC bombing at Rush’s door, so this is a tactic the left has used for a LONG TIME. Every tragedy the MSM tries to blame conservatives and Rush Limbaugh.

Seconds after this happened it was a foregone conclusion th “Right-wing” would be blamed. No, before it happened. NOTHING of this sort happens anymore without a preordained narrative. There was no force on earth that would have stopped ABC News from making the association and implication they made. NO FORCE ON EARTH. There is no professional self-checking mechanism in these people. Their JOB, their purpose in life, is to find and spread these associations.

    theduchessofkitty in reply to raven. | July 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Which is why I believe the Tea Party should seriously consider filing a libel lawsuit against ABC News. This MSM should be held accountable for what they report.

    The MSM took their masks off in 2008, and live without a smidgen of regret for what they have done. People’s lives were lost, and the MSM just LOVES to give the Department of Homeland Security lots of reasons to classify Tea Partiers as “terrorists.” This is why they do this.

    If no one puts a stop to this, they will continue to do this until they make sure a couple of Tea Partiers end up in prison for crimes they didn’t commit.

    Again. Libel suits. And make them hurt.

Trust me, if they can’t tie this to the Tea party, Republican grassroots organizations, or conservative activists, the media is going to blame bath salts.

Do these people ever get disciplined for performing poorly? How much latitude are they allowed to make mistakes that endanger lives? How utterly stupid they are, and never, ever do they show or express shame.

iconotastic | July 20, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Yeah, pretty thin. Anonymous private investigator, whoever that is. otoh, it isn’t like you can check anarchist online records like you can the Democratic Party registrations (oops, there goes the meme).

More interesting was the parent’s reaction. Why did they suspect that their son was involved with this as soon as they were contacted? Wouldn’t a natural fear be that their son was a victim?

Wait and see. We should have a better picture in 24-48 hours.

    iconotastic in reply to iconotastic. | July 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    gack. this was in reply to Rag’s link to the DailyMail

    Ragspierre in reply to iconotastic. | July 20, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    As to the parent(s)…when you have a kid who’s mentally “off”, you know.

    You may protect them, but you know…and you live in dread fear of learning they have hurt someone or themselves.

    Now, I know NOTHING about this kid or his history, but you do not walk through a crowd of people shooting little kids unless you are detached from what I call “normal”.

    You just don’t.

Just as Obama’s ‘you didn’t build it’ comment reveals His Socialist heart, Ross’ quick connection to the Tea Party reveals his decades-old Liberal bias.


Holmes is the 161st most popular last name in America (2000). 56/100k population.

James is fairly common, too.

Briab Ross is a Liberal tool.

ABC said they are sorry, not because the story they reported was inaccurate, but that it wasn’t accurate.

theduchessofkitty | July 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm

This report on one of the victims seems to have come from the same script as “Final Destination”:

Midnight Movie Massacre: Survivor of June mall shooting killed in Colorado theater.

An intern for a local Fox affiliate, no less.

theduchessofkitty | July 20, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Here, from a commenter at The Corner.

“This was calculated and executed by the left. As you stated, you can’t un-ring a bell. It is easier to apologize than to tell the truth from the beginning. The damage is already done and many will hear the TEA party message, but not the retraction.”

Again: the damage is done. The seeds of the false accusation are going to last, precisely because they were sown FIRST. Truth took some time to come out. Falsehoods are quick starters.

More than a perfect argument to file a libel suit against ABC News.

stevewhitemd | July 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm

The progressive bloggers, after jumping in to follow Mr. Ross’s characterization of the wrong James Holmes, are now mewling about conservative bloggers — “what’s the big deal?” So what he got it wrong?”

What Ross did was very important for the progressives — as an ABC journalist, he quickly and efficiently kicked open a door through which they could go.

And they did. Did they ever. Check Twitchy, etc for how they did it.

Now of course Mr. Ross has to retract his assertion, since he libeled the wrong James Holmes. But that doesn’t change the importance of what he did as far as the progressive Left is concerned.

Which news do you think has the greater reach: that the shooter was a Tea Party member or that a big-name journalist got a basic fact wrong on the air?

You know the answer.

The progressives don’t care that Mr. Ross was wrong, because that wasn’t the point of the exercise. He was there to open the door. He did. That’s all he had to do.

    theduchessofkitty in reply to stevewhitemd. | July 20, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    And all of this has been accomplished while the bodies of the victims are cooling down – and the innocent, Tea Party member James Holmes from CO and his family fear for their lives.

    The innocent James Holmes has every right in the world to sue ABC News for this.

      He ( the wrong James Holmes) is a 52-year-old Hispanic conservative who joined the Tea Party after becoming disillusioned with the Republican party.

      Sounds like Steph and Ross may be racists.

    Ragspierre in reply to stevewhitemd. | July 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Prof. Reynolds…

    Reckless disregard? If I were the Tea Party Holmes, I’d have my lawyer talking to ABC right now. My terms: Groveling apology to be repeated on at least two national newscasts, plus This Week and all Colorado affiliates. Plus $250K in damages. No apology by tonight, and the demand goes to $5 million. Oh, and guys, be sure to preserve all records, browser histories, etc. for litigation. . . .


TrooperJohnSmith | July 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm

In a place a lot hotter than the drought-stricken American Heartland – a place smelling of sulfur and brimstone – Saul Alinsky and Joseph Goebbels are once again giving each other high-fives over the stealthy, ad hominem attack on truth by their media disciples.

As this Jim Holmes character seems to be increasingly identified with OWS or even the radical Occupy Black Bloc considering his booby traps..

Its Obama and the Democrats who are “no longer on their side” and have switched to Socialist rhetoric of Let’s Ban US Some Guns.

Liberal Progressives are again let down and deflated by Obama who has even failed to bring UNITY to lefty Red And Black Socialists and Anarchists.

“Batman Movie Shooter Told Police: I’m The Joker”…
Or, as d-cRAT puppet Brian Ross of the A(lways)B(iased-socialist)C(lowns) network will report it: “He told the police, ‘I’m a tea partier’.”

Prof, I don’t think you cancall yourself a “smalltime blogger” with a couple of Rush mentions.

Apology or not, Stephie and ABC OWN this:

Stephanolpoulos: I’m going to go to Brian Ross. You’ve been investigating the background of Jim Holmes here. You found something that might be significant.

This is as bad or worse than NBC’s deliberate phoney editing of Zimmerman. Steph and Ross, you are slime dogs.

[…] the right when things like this occur.  ABC News has since apologized and now seems to be in major damage control mode.  Then Rush Limbaugh was […]

Jusuchin (Military Otaku) | July 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm

After the past few ‘damage control’ measures the mainstream media (including Fox) have done, I’ve long since called them “Derp Reversals” since well, the ‘Derp’ shouldn’t never happened with proper application of jounralistic standards and not jumping on the boogiemen.

And for those unsure:

derp:(slang) Draws attention to an act of foolishness or stupidity. Example:
I put chips in my soup instead of crackers. Derp.

jimzinsocal | July 20, 2012 at 6:03 pm

And when you cant hang the event on a Tea Party member? Or Rush? Move to Plan B. Make it about theater security|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=news&__utmv=14933801.|8=Earned%20By=msnbc%7Ccover=1^12=Landing%20Content=Mixed=1^^30=Visit%20Type%20to%20Content=Earned%20to%20Mixed=1&__utmk=174674594

huskers-for-palin | July 20, 2012 at 10:54 pm

surprised they didn’t blame Palin…..yet

[…] Legal Insurrection: Fascinating that a man shouting “Allahu akbar” as he mows down 35 people on an army base […]

[…] Reynolds offers the BLOG COMMENT OF THE DAY: Fascinating that a man shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ as he mows down 35 people on an army base […]

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Dr. Ted Baehr